BYD Tang #1 in Record Month
After a few months threatening to break the all-time record (102,635 units, set last December), the Chinese PEV market finally hit a new high, with some 104,900 units being registered in September, up 66%, in line with the previous months growth rates.
In a falling mainstream market (-12% YoY), the continued growth of the plugin market means that the PEV share hit a new all-time best, ending the month with 5.2%, while the 2018 share rose to 3.3% share, a new record and well above the 2.1% of 2017, with sales expected to continue growing as the year advances, the 2018 PEV share could end North of the
4% threshold, with December possibly reaching 7%.
With symbolic export numbers, the domestic market is more than enough to absorb the current Chinese production, helped by the fact that it is still a protected market and foreign OEMs hadn’t yet looked seriously at this niche, but with PEV quotas to be fulfilled in the near future, foreign brands starting to put an effort, although their share is just 6%, due the sharp decrease of Tesla (-84% YoY). Of this (small) cake, 2% still belong to Tesla, and 2% to BMW, with the remaining manufacturers sharing the final 2%.
In September, the headlining news were the hot BYD Tang PHEV winning its second consecutive monthly Best Seller award, while the BYD Yuan EV climbed to the podium, almost allowing a 1-2 win for the carmaker. Maybe in October?
Here’s September Top 5 Best Selling models individual performance:
#1 – BYD Tang PHEV: After five months on the market, the second-generation Tang confirmed its hot selling status, winning its second consecutive Best Seller award, with last month performance beating the nameplate sales record, by registering 6,019 registrations. Sales should continue strong for BYD’s successful flagship, and new record sales could still be achieved this year, at least until the BEV version of the Tang arrives, by December. As for the current Tang PHEV specs, BYD’s Sports SUV saw the battery grow to 24 kWh, originating an increased 100 kms range / 62 mi NEDC (around 70 kms / 44 mi real world), while on the power department, things stayed the same, with some 500 hp and 0-100 kms/h in less than 5 secs. All for CNY 279,800 / $40,816.
#2 – Chery eQ: Chery was one of the Chinese brands to bet early in plug-ins, having won the models title three times in a row (2011, ’12, ’13), with its tiny QQ3 EV, now the automaker is trying to regain relevance with the eQ, the spiritual (and material) successor to the QQ3, having registered 5,310 units in last month (new year best), allowing it to collect another runner-up position. A vehicle marketed to city dwellers, for USD 24,000 before incentives, you get a funky city EV, with the 22.3kWh battery providing just enough range (200 kms / 125 miles NEDC), to cover the needs of the urban jungle (And the subsidies requirements).
#3 – BYD Yuan EV: We all knew that BYD’s new Baby Crossover was destined for success, and with 5,008 deliveries in September in only its fourth month on the market, BYD’s new baby is living up to expectations. Are we witnessing the rise of the 2019 Best Selling model? I guess it will depend more on BYD’s ability/willingness to make them in volume (the Tang is more profitable), than actual demand, sitting on the vortex of the two fastest selling segments (Compact Crossovers and EVs), and with unrivalled specs (42 kWh battery, 305 kms/190 mi NEDC range, 174 hp motor), and price (25,000 USD), BYD might have found in this new model its star player, crowning what it is already a strong lineup.
#4 – Hawtai EV160: The Inner Mongolian automaker bread and butter city EV narrowly escaped the subsidies cut early this Summer, by presenting 5 kms more range (155 kms NEDC) than the subsidy minimum (150 kms), thanks to a 21kWh battery, and sales have reflected this, with its numbers benefitting from the reduced competition, as the little EV hit a record 4,780 units in September. With basic specs (41hp
and design, Hawtai bets on a bargain-basement price (CNY 102,800 / $14,812), in
order to allure car-sharing and other fleet buying companies.
#5 – JAC iEV S/E: JAC was one of the EV pioneers in China, selling plug-ins since 2010, and now it’s back at the game, registering 4,621 units last month. With a competitive price of USD 26,000 before incentives, this is a vehicle targeted at trendy urbanites that for some reason can’t reach a BYD Song or Roewe’s eRX5, getting in return a good-looking compact vehicle (Kia Soul-sized), with just enough power and range (114 hp & 251 kms/156 mi) to not to make it look bad. Interestingly, the word on the street is that JAC has export ambitions…
|The Nio ES8|
In a record month, there weren’t significant changes, the most important being the Hawtai EV160 jumping 3 spots to #10, confirming the good moment of the Inner Mongolia brand.
The remaining changes benefitted BYD’s new babies, with the new Tang PHEV climbing to #14, while its smaller sibling, the Yuan EV, is now #16. If the first model has its eyes on a Top 10 spot, the second can also dream of it, which would make 5(!) BYD’s in the Top 10…
Another model shining last month was the #15 BAIC EU-Series, that made its best result in the last 23 months, thanks to 4,138 units.
Outside the Top 20, a lot is going on, on the large sedan class, the BMW 530e registered a record 2,216(!) units, with the Chinese market now being the largest market for the luxury sedan, profiting from the tariff war between China and the USA, that crippled the former class leader, the Tesla Model S. (“Vielen Dank, Donald!” – said an unnamed BMW manager).
The Nio ES8 continues with the gradual production ramp up (1,766 registrations last month) and was once again the Best-Selling Luxury SUV last month, with the Tesla Model X delivering less than 200 units, the new startup model has now a shot at removing Tesla from the yearly category leadership, so it will be interesting to see how this works out.
Another model on the rise is the recently arrived Geely Emgrand GSe EV (1,913 units) compact crossover, that is looking to catch up the class leaders (BYD Song PHEV and Roewe eRX5) next year.
Looking at the manufacturers ranking, BYD (19%) is a comfortable leader, thanks to the new Tang and Yuan, while the runner-up BAIC (13%), is waiting impatiently for the EC-Series to its get production in full swing, and in Third Place, the Shanghai-based Roewe (11%) holds the last place of the podium, with a significant advantage over the #4, Chery (6% share).